Thursday, January 21, 2010

all the small things

I cleaned out my file cabinet yesterday. Another one of those days where my OCD wins. I was busy all day - doing things that may have or may not have needed to get done. Still in my pj's when DH got home...that's always a good sign. But, I was happy - no depression to go along with this strange fit of cleanliness. Anyway, there is a point.
As I was cleaning out the file cabinet I came across the file I've lovingly name "My Nemisis" - otherwise known as RAD. I actually sat down and read through some articles that I'd been given over the last couple of years and renewed my hope in being able to do this thing. However, I also ran across all the emails I've sent to random people begging for help - outlining what was going on with my son or daughter and why I needed support (from the school...from therapists...from friends) - and the sad part is that most of what I wrote about in 2007 is still going on. I guess I keep hoping for healing and really - it may not happen. One of the articles said to raise them as though it won't happen...and not be emotionally invested in healing. It's wasted emotion. Yes...I know it. But, it still stinks. So, last night was a great parenting night at my house...let's see if I can hold that pattern!

On my weight loss front (which is a BIG reason I am happy right now) - I'm .5 pounds from hitting 30 pounds lost. I could not be more proud of myself for sticking with it. Now that I've seen a huge change - it's easier to be motivated. I like going to the gym - heck, maybe even love it. It's one hour of my day that is totally for one else. When I weighed in this week I almost cried. I didn't have to bend my head forward to see the numbers - I could look straight down...past my stomach and see them. OMG. Strange to get excited about such a thing...but in three months - I feel like I've turned SOMETHING around. It's for me.

DS2 has decided to not run track this summer. That is upsetting because he is so stinkin' good. I so want him to want want to feel the rush of being great at have passion about something that can give him a feeling of worth. But, again - that's me wanting for him...not him wanting. So, we let it go. However, being physically active is not optional in this house - so we let him know that we'd be picking an activity for him...and we have. He's doing a training class for tri-athlons. Biking, running and swimming. All things he likes in small doses. The training is 6 weeks - 2 times a week and then he actually participates in our community tri. (they do 4 every summer) since he's turning 12 - he's in the adult category...that means biking 9.7 miles, running 3.1 miles and swimming 500 meters. Yes, I told him. We made it clear that this is NOT about's about doing the best you think you can and then doing better than you think you can. It might take him 8 hours - I don't know...but he needs to complete it. We'll see...I don't expect he'll be happy about it (although he took the news well)!

DD has gotten stuck on wanting to join the cheer team again. You may remember that we took her off the competitive team 2 years ago because we found out that she was hiding in the bathroom during practice...lying about injuries, etc. Too much time committment and money for her to screw around. She still tumbles and now she's in a dance class. Well, last night she wrote us a letter. A small excerpt:
"I just have one wish I want to tell you. I want to be a cheerleader. I want to be the girl who is pretty and has a lot of friends on the cheer squad. I want to be a flyer too. Except, right now, I'm just a girl who is good at the stuff for cheerleading, but wishes she could join a squad."

That's more honesty than we've ever really gotten - and the fact that she wrote it instead of asking us every 10 minutes is a big step (although she did ask us numerous times if we read it). We told her it's under parental advisement. Tryouts are in a bit of time - thankfully. I want to make her wish come true - but I don't want to sign up for yet another bummer situation!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Rolling in 2010

Eight days down...that's right people - we've made it through 8 days of a new year and my house is still standing and my family is all alive.
The beginning of a new year is often hectic around here. Lots of new activities start and many plans seem to come together. I actually like the madness a bit. I love to see my kids active and 'doing'...although we are still deep in winter (what is with this cold...10 degrees for a high is NOT something I enjoy), it starts to feel like a melt is happening at my house. I know the holidays are important and such an integral part of family life - but's basically just a time for me to lose track of what day of the week it is and often, pray for school to start again!
I was happy to see my kids jump right back into the thick of things - bringing homework home on day one of going back...that's what I like to see. However, it underlined, yet again, that DS2 is falling behind. I'm back to fighting the good fight. I went to see the principal where I was told that it's good for a parent to 'let their child fail' - to which I replied:


There was no response. It seems that to leave no child behind means that no child has to learn what should be learned. I'm frustrated. I look at his work and wonder how he's 'average'? I was also told (in 'school talk') that I had expectations that were too high for him. This was after I pointed out that not one week this year has he copied his 15 spelling words from the board to his planner correctly. Not once. Often they are so mispelled that I can't even decipher what word it might be. So, the answer seems to be to set the bar lower...maybe he can only be responsible for writing 10 words correctly...and I should, apparently, share these lowered expectations with him.

Yes, I know that parenting a child with 'special needs' is different - but I do not agree with lowering the bar to the level he wants to achieve. I just wonder when it became wrong to want your child to succeed. The principal seemed to think that I was talking about this behind DS2's back...NOPE. We are honest with him - he knows what we expect. We give him great kudos for doing his best - which is not A's all the time - and that is just fine. Seriously. I just want him to learn to achieve...something...anything. Instead he sits at the bar and tells me "I just have to turn in the paper. It doesn't matter at all if any of them are right".

I can't argue with that because it's true. He's been turning in blatantly wrong homework all year and NOT ONCE has anyone but me noticed. It gets stamped "practice" and sent back home. So, how do I sell that to him? How do I convince him that it's important to do your best when no one else seems to care? How?

Egads...I sound like a negative Nelly. I don't like that.

So, the good is that DD started a new dance class and really liked it - so she's tumbling and dancing through the rest of winter/spring - highly anticipating her first season of competitive softball coming in August. DS2 is ready for his winter indoor flag football league and upcoming track season and DS1 is playing basketball, slightly overlapping the start of his last baseball season before trying out for high school. AND - we registered for middle school for DS2 and high school registration is next week for DS1. much fun...and weirdly, I'm a little sad to see it all going so fast.

We are debating our options for DS2 right now. DH and I are supporting each other through this. The goal is to find a school environment that will give him more one on one instruction, hold him more accountable and give him one more year to gain maturity (really, I am not excited about the concept of him in a locker room with 50 boys that are heads taller than him...not worried about him...worried for THEM)...that means public middle school is not the best option and we know that. We'll figure it out and have some things percolating! At least there is something out there...I just have to find it!